Is the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Communion With Rome? It is part of the Eastern Orthodox Church, though the church is partially autocephalous. This article will explore the church’s affiliation with Rome, as well as its beliefs and symbols.
Ethiopian orthodox church in communion with Rome
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is one of the largest Oriental Orthodox churches. It rejects the 451 Council of Chalcedon as the definitive source of Christianity. Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians consider it to be monophysite. In response, Pope Francis met with the leader of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
However, the former Patriarch, Abune Merkorios, announced from exile that his abdication was made under duress. This prompted several bishops to go into exile and form their own breakaway alternate synod. This synod included Ethiopian Churches in North America and Europe. The exiled synod recognized Patriarch Abune Merkorios as Patriarch, while the synod inside Ethiopia continued to recognize Abune Paulos as its leader.
Although the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is not in communion with Rome, they share many beliefs and practices. For example, Ethiopian Christians follow dietary rules similar to those of Orthodox Jews. Additionally, Ethiopian women are prohibited from entering the church during their menstrual cycle. Married Orthodox women are also required to cover their hair in church.
Ethiopian orthodox church partially autocephalous
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is a partially autocephalous branch of the Orthodox Christian Church. Historically, it has been affiliated with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. It was granted autocephaly in 1959. In that same year, the Coptic Pope Cyril VI consecrated Abuna Basilios as the first Patriarch Catholicos of the Ethiopian Church in Cairo. This Patriarch was given the title of Ichege of the See of St. Tekle Haymanot.
After Ethiopia gained its independence in 1991, the Derg regime sought a new patriarch with close ties to the regime. To this end, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahido Church sought to receive autocephaly from the Coptic Orthodox Church. Archbishop Abune Merqoriyos of Gonder, who served in the Ethiopian Parliament during the Derg period, was appointed patriarch. However, he abdicated after being pressured by the regime and was replaced by the current patriarch, Abune P’awlos.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was historically part of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria until 1959 when it was granted autocephaly with its own patriarch. This denomination is the largest of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa and has more than 36 million members.
Ethiopian orthodox church adapted beliefs and symbols
Ethiopian Christians follow the Orthodox Church, which is based on liturgy and spoken prayer. The church also practices the usual Christian rituals, such as the Eucharist and the Feast of Epiphany. These are usually accompanied by dance and singing.
Ethiopian Orthodox Christians make up about 43.5 percent of the population. The rest is divided between other religions and indigenous beliefs. About eight percent of the population follows a non-religious religion. Historically, Ethiopia was a large Jewish country, but most of the Jews left Ethiopia over the twentieth century.
Christianity was introduced to Ethiopia in the fourth century, and it was not a result of missionary activity from outside. Instead, the king and monarch had the desire to introduce Christianity in their land. According to the Church historian Rufinus (ca. 410 A.D.), Ethiopia was influenced by the Christian Church of Egypt. Meropius, a Greek philosopher from Tyre, had traveled along the African coast of the Red Sea and had a port on the shore.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims the original Ark of the Covenant, and has replicas in the central sanctuary of all its churches. These replicas are called tabotat, and their presence at the central sanctuary consecrates the church. Additionally, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church rejects the doctrine of Pauline Christianity, which holds that the Old Testament has no binding force after the birth of Jesus. Therefore, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church focuses on the Old Testament. In addition, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church adheres to strict dietary rules, which are similar to the kosher tradition.
Ethiopian orthodox church adapted symbols
Until the early fifteenth century, the Ethiopian church developed and flourished with little external contact. The arrival of European missionaries brought conflict and isolation. Despite these conditions, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church maintained the symbolism and purity of its early Christian people. One of the oldest Christian symbols is the cross, which is present in three different forms in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Orthodox church is largely made up of Amhara people. The church has been a dominant factor in the Amhara culture. When the country was under an Amhara dominated monarchy, the church was designated the state church. Emperor Haile Selassie I positioned the church as the bulwark of his monarchy. However, after the monarchy was overthrown in 1974, the church was disestablished and stripped of its vast land holdings.
In the fifth century, nine Syrian monks brought monasticism to Ethiopia. They encouraged the translation of the Scriptures into the Ge’ez language. This translation spread throughout the Middle Ages.